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We love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more, all penned by our team of six writers.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.

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Features | Colouring Books For Grown Ups!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Features | Colouring Books For Grown Ups!

One of the latest trends to hit the shelves of bookshops everywhere is colouring books for adults. These nostalgic titles are becoming increasingly popular as both a fun and stress-reliving activity and in recent months we've seen them featured all over the place with lots of different themed versions to choose from.

With this in mind I've had a little look around and picked out a small selection of ideas for those who are unsure where to start. So, if you're in the market for a unique gift for a friend or family member or even as a little treat for yourself, here are a few of our top colouring book picks...

colour me good

The 'Colour Me Good' Series (Mel Elliot)
This series is perfect for those who love all things entertainment and includes a whole range of different titles such as individual colouring books featuring famous faces like Kate Moss, Ryan Gosling, Taylor Swift and Benedict Cumberbatch. Others from the same series include the various 'Color Me Swoon' editions featuring a selection of male celebrities as well as themed books such as different decades, record covers, movies and fashion.

secret garden book

Secret Garden & Enchanted Forest (Johanna Basford)
These beautifully illustrated nature-inspired titles are not only colouring books but are also treasure hunts as they include lists of items to find hidden within the pages. Created by British author Johanna Basford, Secret Garden is one of the top-sellers when it comes to adult colouring books and with such detailed and eye-catching artwork it's easy to see why.

animal kingdom

Animal Kingdom (Millie Marotta)
Similarly to Secret Garden, the illustrations featured in this book are both beautiful and intricate. Rather than just sharing traditional drawings of the animals, here each one has been created using a variety of detailed designs and patterns, such as flowers, stripes, circles and leaves. A full book of these ornate designs will definitely take you a while to colour in!

tattoo colouring book

The Tattoo Colouring Book & Postcards (Megamunden)
If tattoos are your thing you'll love these books which feature a huge variety of bold and unique designs. Although not presented in a traditional colouring book format, the postcards are perfect for a little colouring on the go and would certainly help to keep you amused on a long train journey or flight!

Images via Amazon

Are you a fan of adult colouring books?
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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Features | The 5 Worst Book Covers I Own.

Today I want to talk about what I think makes a good book cover but, because I am by nature contrary and awkward, I want to do that by talking about what I think makes a bad book cover. So I'm going to share with you the five books from my shelves that, in my opinion, have the worst covers.

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green

My main problem with this cover of Looking for Alaska is that I personally don't think it actually reflects the story inside at all. If I had just found this book in a bookshop, with no prior knowledge of John Green or his work, then I doubt I would have picked it up. When I think of Looking for Alaska I think of adventure, self discovery, and mortality, and I don't think this cover represents any of those things as well as the other Looking for Alaska covers I've seen. To me this just looks like the cover of a sad forbidden romance story, which is not what Looking for Alaska is.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This and Lola and the Boy Next Door's matching cover both suffer from a very different problem to the Looking for Alaska cover. These original covers for Anna and Lola actually both represent the stories pretty well, and I know that a lot of people love them for exactly that reason, but I just think they look so embarrassing. I imagine a lot of people were probably put off Anna and Lola because of these covers, which is a real shame because they're some of my favourite books. So I may be annoyed that Isla and the Happily Ever After doesn't match the first two in the series on my bookshelf, but mostly I'm just glad that all these books finally have covers that might entice more readers than they turn away.

3. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

There is so much going on with this cover, I just don't know where to start. It's just too busy. From the model who looks nothing like how I imagined the protagonist to look, to the terrible typeface choices and frank abuse of photoshop layering and drop shadows, to the strange background that makes it look as though the sky is on fire behind the castle, it's just all too much. This is a beautiful book and it deserves a beautiful cover, which this is not.

4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Who is this man? Why is he leering at me from the edge of this book? Is it supposed to be Dorian Gray? I can forgive all the movies for constantly casting dark haired men as Dorian but shouldn't the book cover at least recognise that Oscar Wilde describes him as having 'golden' hair? The basic design of this cover is fine, but the choice of picture is really just ruining it for me.

5. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This cover, like I Capture the Castle, is just so busy. Again, it looks like someone got carried away in photoshop. I have seen a few different covers for this series and they all look better than this so there really is just no excuse. The only thing I can say in favour of this cover is that it does give a sense of the adventure and action inside the book, so I can't say that it doesn't suit the story, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

So what makes a good book cover? I think it's obvious from the 'bad' covers I've chosen that I personally like a more minimal design and I'm not overly keen on big looming faces, but looking past my own personal preferences I think the key to a good book cover is in the two functions it should be performing. 1) A cover should make a reader want to pick up the book and read it. It should entice the reader, make them think that this is the sort of book they might be interested in. 2) It should do this by accurately representing the book inside. A cover should be attractive to look at, but it should also tell you something about the book you're about to read.

Let's not forget the attractive bit though, because let's be honest, we really all just want our bookshelves to look nice, don't we?

What do you think makes a good book cover? What do you think makes a bad book cover? Do you actually think my choices are all great book covers and I'm talking total rubbish? Let's talk about it in the comments!
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A Little In Love | Susan Fletcher | Review

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A Little In Love | Susan Fletcher | Review

*image via GoodReads

Young Eponine was raised to be a thief. Her mother and father were crooks, and expect her to live up to their malicious and untrustworthy reputation. Eponine knows stealing from is bad, but her family are poor and the pretty trinkets she pinches bring her mother such joy. It’s a dog eat dog world after all. One day another young girl enters her Eponine’s life. She has golden hair and despite the rags her mother places her in she is so so beautiful. Cosette is her name and she is the only person who has ever shown Eponine kindness - even though at times she doesn’t deserve it. 

Sixteen years later and Eponine is no longer a young girl. Her family may have relocated to Paris but they haven’t stopped their criminal ways. She consistently seeks a better life. Her world is full of darkness but she tries to find happiness and goodness in the small things. One her many ‘lights' in a young boy called Marius. Charming, wonderfully handsome and heartbreakingly kind. The only problem with loving him is that he's in love with another girl. A girl with golden hair and who is beautiful inside and out. Cosette.

So what’s my verdict?

I’m gonna be completely honest with you guys here, I totally only picked this up because I’m a huge fan of Les Miserables musical and Eponine is totally my homegirl - and one of my favourite musical theatre characters of all time. 

If, like me, you’re also a fan of Les Mis or the original novel by Victor Hugo, you probably think you know Eponine Thernadier’s story back to front. And yes, the storyline for this novel is familiar and the timelines certainly do match up on many occasions - her ending is also unfortunately still canon *cries*. 

What Fletcher has done with A Little In Love, however, is take that canon story and expand it. As the love-lorn third wheel to the Marius/Cosette love story, Eponine for me is generally one of the more relatable characters from Les Mis. But by delving in her past and backstory, Fletcher presents Eponine as more than just the girl who pined after a boy. Strong-willed, brave and always striving to do good, Fletcher's Eponine deals with the struggle of with being as heartless as her family and her want to become a better version of herself. 

Though we do see a good portion of the story dedicated to her love of Marius (who is just as charmingly clueless of his effect on our ‘Ponine), equal credence is given to Eponine’s fervent quest and determination to be a good force in the world. 

Obviously Eponine is our leading lady in this instance, but there is some nice insight into the Thernadier’s world. Subplots surrounding Eponine’s relationship with her mother are also really interesting, and I do love Eponine’s ongoing contrast to Cosette’s life - something I always found irritating in the musical, but loved how it played out in this novel.

I’m being biased but I personally really enjoyed the book, though other readers will notice that A Little In Love in definitely geared towards a younger audience. However, it’s important to remember before criticising Eponine’s vernacular that she is very much a girl experiencing young love in all forms. She’s a little naive but learns every step of the way, and knowing her ending only makes her story even more heartbreakingly tragic.

Reading Soundtrack:
Songbird: Fleetwood Mac; La Vie En Rose: Edith Piaf; Dreaming With A Broken Heart: John Mayer; Samson: Regina Specktor; Beside You: 5 Seconds of Summer; My Love: Sia; Lights: Jake Nauta; Last Night On Earth: Green Day; Clean: Taylor Swift 

For lovers of...Les Miserables (the musical, film and the Victor Hugo novel), Moulin Rouge, and Never Let Me Go. 
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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Beth aka The Quiet People

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Beth aka The Quiet People

Welcome to another Being A Book Blogger post! Today I'm talking to the lovely Beth who runs The Quiet People. Here's what she had to say about becoming a blogger, switching lives with a popular Rainbow Rowell character and her love of classics...

the quiet people interview


BB: Hi Beth! For any of our readers who aren't yet subscribed to The Quiet People could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?

I’m just your average, super-genius, pyjama wearing bookworm. Really, that’s it! (except for the super-genius part. I might have exaggerated a teeny-tiny bit there…) Oh, and I’m not really a big fan of people. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? I mean, I like people fine, just as long as they don’t talk to me or interact with me or acknowledge my presence in any way! (With the exception of online. You can be my interwebz friend any time you like!!)

BB: Where does your passion for reading come from, and how did you get into reviewing?

I’ve always been passionate about reading. At age six I was reading classics (The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, if you must know!) and from then on there was barely a time when I didn’t have my nose in a book! Reviewing is much more recent for me though – when I started The Quiet People in January I had no idea what to write about, and I just sort of stumbled into book blogging. The rest is history!

the quiet people interview


BB: Which has been your favourite review to write so far?

Definitely Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. It came at a time when I was actually really bored of writing reviews, and I was pretty stuck. I mean, the book itself was amazing, but I just could not formulate any words that would do justice to the intricacies of the plot. So essentially I gave up, and just wrote a list of my thought processes as I read the novel. Turns out, lists are fun write, and to read, so that was all kinds of lovely. Now list reviews are my favourite types to write!

BB: You've just started a clever series called 'Classics For Cheats', could you tell us a little bit more about how you came up with this idea and what we can expect from future instalments?

At the moment I read ALL the young adult books, but for years I read only classic literature. I’ve always liked classics – most people think they’re pretty dull, but most of them are jam-packed with things going on! For instance, did you know that there’s a buried alive scene in Les Miserables? Evidently that was too tricky to turn into a song! Weirdly though, despite people finding classics boring, for some reason they’re really rather prestigious. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who say that they’d like to read them, but just don’t have the time. From that, classics for cheats was born – a series where I paraphrase huge great long classics into just a few hundred words. I do the hard work for you!

BB: We're always looking for book recommendations, which 3 novels should our readers go out and pick up ASAP?

You’ve probably heard enough of me going on about classics now, but I believe EVERYONE should read the Count of Monte Cristo. Yes, it’s twelve hundred pages long, but it’s an incredible exploration of revenge, justice, love, hate and murder set in a background of post-revolution France. It’s beautiful and mesmerising and wonderful. For readers with more modern tastes, I’d definitely recommend Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, or Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I’ve actually just finished the latter and loved it so much more than I’d expected to, so I think everyone should try it.

the quiet people interview


BB: Just for fun, if you could swap lives for the day with any fictional character who would you choose and why?

Without a doubt, Cath from Fangirl. The thing about being a quiet person is that you’re never the main character. Cath shares my introversion, but she’s still interesting and adorable enough that people around the world can identify with her. Plus reading Fangirl really made me miss my university – I’d love to go back and study a creative writing degree this time!

BB: Finally, we would love some recommendations, which book blogs are your favourites to read?

Cait at Paperfury is incredible. Everything she writes is hilarious, and she’s so sweet too!

Where to find Beth online: Blog | Instagram | Twitter

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Beth for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com for information!

Images c/o Beth
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Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel | R. L. Stine | Review

Monday, 25 May 2015

Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel | R. L. Stine | Review

*Review copy c/o Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, image via Goodreads

don't stay up late r l stineIn this re-boot of Stine’s original Fear Street series, which was published from the late 80’s right through the 90’s, we meet Lisa a teen who after a serious car accident suffers with hallucinations.

In an attempt to help her progress with her recovery Lisa’s therapist secures her a babysitting job for a family on Fear Street, a supposedly cursed part of town. With her own family in serious need of the money this well-paid position offers, Lisa accepts the role and agrees to look after Harry a few nights each week under the instruction not to let him stay up late. However on her first night babysitting things take a sinister and terrifying turn when Lisa sees a demon-like creature run through the house and jump out of the window. But was it real or just a hallucination?

Although I’m sure a lot of readers may be drawn in by the nostalgia of re-visiting Fear Street and an author they loved growing up, I personally didn’t really read Goosebumps or any of R. L. Stine’s other novels when I was younger and therefore wasn’t familiar with his writing style. As expected I found the book to be a quick and easy read with an entertaining story and I also enjoyed the horror element. Sadly though, for me the conclusion of Lisa’s story was a little too predictable and the novel wasn’t as full of twists as I had hoped it would be.

Although I did enjoy Don’t Stay Up Late as a fun quick read, and would pick up another book from the series in future, I think this novel would perhaps be better suited to Middle Grade readers as opposed to a YA audience.
2 comments

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Group Collaboration | Sight vs Sound: Audiobooks Discussion

may-audiobooks

Welcome to May's group post! We're taking on a bit of a debate this month and delving into the topic of Audiobooks.

Though the hotter topic of e-books vs paperbacks rages on, there's another digital competitor for our beloved books. The humble Audiobook has been around since the early 20th Century, but with the uptake in the use of services like Audible and thousands of books available to listen to on Amazon and iTunes it's now easier than ever to access them.

We thought we'd get our bloggers to share their thoughts on Audiobooks, whether or not they listen to them and why?


may-audiobooks-alexandra may-audiobooks-ria may-audiobooks-joshua may-audiobooks-cat may-audiobooks-anjali


*header image and playlist logos via Pixabay

Let us know your thoughts on Audiobooks too in the comments below! 

Our June group post is all about creating musical playlists for your favourite books! If you'd like more information about getting involved email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com or tweet @blog_bookshelf
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Features | Book to movie adaptations

Friday, 22 May 2015

Features | Book to movie adaptations

Hi,
First I'd like to apologise for the fact this post is a day late. I know, I've only just joined and I'm already posting late, it's not a very good start! In my defence though I've had four exams this week and it has been very busy and stressful, hence why I completely forgot about posting. Thankfully though exams are nearly over, giving me plenty of time to think about other things, such as blogging.

Anyway, I just finished watching Mockingjay Part 1 for the second time, and it got me thinking about book to movie adaptations. I think the film version's of books often don't get enough credit. People are very quick to say "it wasn't as good as the book", when really what they mean is "it wasn't exactly the same as the book". The point is, movies are meant to be different from books. Yes you will never get the same amount of back story from a film, and yes small details may be missed out, but at the same time you get a sense of atmosphere from a film that sometimes can be difficult to create through text alone. Having said that, however, there are some film adaptations that are just plain awful, and so I thought I'd share my opinion on some of the book to move adaptations that have come out in the last year or so.

1) Mockingjay Part 1
Despite being a huge fan of the first two hunger games books, I didn't particularly enjoy the last book. I found it boring. I went to see the film anyway though, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It is so much better than the book. The atmosphere created in the film is just perfect, and it manages to stick reasonably closely to the book whilst making it a lot more exciting at the same time. It's also good for people who haven't read the book - even my Dad enjoyed it. It's almost good enough to make up for the fact it's in two parts, something I find extremely annoying.

2) The Fault In Our Stars
I was scared to go and see this film because I didn't want it to ruin what is probably one of my favourite books. I needn't have worried though. The film does a great job of telling the story, and I would recommend it to anyone, whether they were a fan of the book or had never heard of it. For me, the film had more of an emotional impact on me than the book. I didn't cry at all during the book but I wept during the movie (which earned me some funny looks as I came out of the cinema with mascara halfway down my face).

3) Insurgent
I was pretty disappointed by the Divergent film, so I wasn't expecting a lot from Insurgent. However it was actually pretty good. It stays close to the book and does a decent job of telling the story, although the book was better in my opinion. Plus, any film with Ansel Elgort and Theo James in it is an automatic win in my book.

4) The Maze Runner
This film really didn't do it for me. It wasn't a bad film, but none of the mystery and intrigue of the book is created in the film. Maybe my hopes were too high - after all, I did absolutely love the book. It's probably one of my favourite YA dystopian novels (and I have read a LOT of YA dystopian novels).

5) The Hobbit
A 300 pages book does NOT need to be made into 3 3-hour movies. This whole adaptation felt like a con to get to get hardcore fans to pay more money. They put stuff in there just to spin the story out longer. I mean where did Legolas come from? He's not even in the book! I know in the intro I said you shouldn't get too caught up in details being different in the film, but this was practically a whole different story. To be fair, I have only seen the first 2 films. Maybe the last one is amazing and makes it all worth it. Somehow I highly doubt that.

Thanks for reading my very long slightly rambly post, well done if you made it to the end!
Katie x
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The Secrets We Keep | Trisha Leaver | Unabridged Audiobook | Reviewed by Anjali

Blogger's Bookshelf. The Secrets We Keep | Trisha Leaver | Unabridged Audiobook |

If you cast your mind back to October last year, you may recall a post about the BBC's dramatised audio-book of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. In that post I mentioned that I had started listening to audiobooks during mindless tasks at work, and I've really been enjoying them. Another audiobook adventure that I've had in the last month or so was The Secrets We Keep, by Trisha Leaver. I had seen it on Good Reads, and loved the cover, so I thought I'd give it a ago. For the most part, I really enjoyed it.

Maddie and Ella are twin sisters, but they couldn't be more different. Maddie is one of the most popular girls at school; Ella has a friend or two. Maddie wears make up and is always styled just-so; Ella loves her jeans and t-shirts, and throwing her hair up into a pony tail. Maddie goes to raging parties; Ella stays home to sketch. One night, after a heated argument after Ella goes to pick Maddie up from a party, they have a car accident...and only one of them survives.

When Ella wakes up in the hospital, she doesn't know where she is or who she is. People keep calling her Maddie, and while it seems familiar, it doesn't seem quite right. It's only when she sees her sister's dead body that she realises the truth: she is Ella, not Maddie, like everyone thinks. In a split-decision, Ella decides that what is best for everyone around her, what's best for Maddie's memory, is to pretend that she is really Maddie. Ella would be no longer, but Maddie would live the life she deserved. But Maddie wasn't who Ella thought she was, and she is thrown into a world of boyfriends, of parties, of catty 'friends', of deep secrets. Caught in a web of lies and deceit, Ella has to decide whether to continue living as Maddie, sacrificing her own goals, dreams and friends to keep her sister alive, or to come clean and tell the truth.

I quite enjoyed this book. Even after hearing the entire story, and seeing into Ella's mind, I still don't understand why anyone would ever do what Ella did - I don't think it would ever cross my mind to do that - but I did like Ella as a character. She's torn between living her own life, knowing that she was to blame for her sister's death, or giving up her dreams of art school, and having a life with Josh, her best friend, for her sister to have a chance at life. She thinks that everyone would rather have Maddie than Ella, so that's what she gives them. It's a story of family, friends, secrets and lies, of discovering who she is without her sister, of realising that people love her for her.

While it was a great story, I found there were moments in about the second quarter where it dragged a little, and the ending was a little predictable, and the secrets that Maddie was hiding. However, it was a great YA fiction story, and definitely pick it up sometime. If you're interested in the audiobook version, I got mine from Audible, and it was just over 7hours long.

Tomorrow on Blogger's Bookshelf we'll be talking all things audiobooks, so make sure you head on back here if you want to know what we think about them!
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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Numbers | Rachel Ward | Review


Numbers is the first book in a science-fiction trilogy where the main character Jem can look into anybodies eyes and she sees the date they will die. Uncomfortable with her 'abilities', Jem has always been a loner, passed from foster home to foster home she's never really felt like anybody cared for her. Until she met Spider, a lanky outsider with a bit of a BO problem. When Jem's abilities come out into the open after an event unfolds in central London, she decides to run alongside Spider and go on a road trip that is action-packed and will have you turning page after page. 

The main dislike I had about this book was how stupid the characters were. Naive seems the wrong word although I guess they were that too, but their decisions just didn't make any sense - even for young school kids. The way they behaved, the choices they made and even the way they spoke just annoyed me quite a lot and it made me question if they would survive in the real world as they seemed to in the book. Secondly, I disliked the way the events that unfolded just weren't that realistic, putting aside the sci-fi element of course. Going into more detail about the ways in which it was unrealistic would be a spoiler so I'll just leave it at that but it was an aspect of the book that infuriated me and I couldn't look past it to enjoy the rest of the story.

Overall, this book was just kind of meh. Thankfully, it was short so I could whip through it but the ending surprised me and in the last chapter, a lot of new questions arose and made me curious to see how the rest of the series would pan out. 
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Guest Review | The Golem And The Djinni | Helene Wecker

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Guest Review | The Golem And The Djinni | Helene Wecker

the golem and the djinni
Helene Wecker has written a book about a subject matter I have definitely not come across before.

Our two main characters in this novel are considered fantastical creatures - beings out of stories or legend. The Golem is made of clay, exactly to her master’s requirements. She can feel the fears and desires of all the people around her, but most importantly she can feel those of her master, allowing her to act upon their wants more swiftly. On a boat heading for New York City, the Golem is awoken by her master. Unfortunately, he more-or-less immediately falls to the floor with a ruptured appendix, which kills him and leaves the Golem alone in the world. On her arrival to NYC, the Golem runs from the authorities and ends up in the Hebrew part of town. She is recognised as a Golem by a local Rabbi, who takes her in and helps her to live discreetly.

The Djinni is a creature made of fire, used to roaming the deserts of Syria. In New York City, in the neighbourhood known as Little Syria, Arbeely Boutros the smith is given a flask to repair. Before he can touch it with any tools, the flask releases a man who claims to be a Djinni. Arbeely chooses to believe the Djinni and, when he sees what he can do to metals with just his hands, hires him as a help in his shop.

Both of our creatures display huge uncertainty and have great difficulty integrating into their new American society. Keeping their identities secret and finding a way to live quietly turns out to be a full-time challenge. When they take the risk and allow themselves to make friends with others, inevitably they end up regretting the decision. Both creatures manage to hold down a job suited to their abilities, but feel there is something missing. It is incredibly hard to blend into a society to which they obviously don’t belong, having trouble with relationships especially.

Even though these creatures are, evidently, difficult to live with or around, there are so many people in their respective immigrant neighbourhoods who are willing to give the Golem and Djinni a chance, who will look past their strange habits and try to be helpful. The sense of community is heart-warming.

I did very much enjoy Helene Wecker’s style of writing. It’s rather plain and straightforward, encouraging contemplation and patience, but the way she writes the characters’ thoughts and feelings is spot on - very perceptive and believable. The great internal struggle going on inside both the Golem and the Djinni is realistic and made me feel empathetic towards them.

I really invested myself in the futures of these creatures, and felt concerned for their safety. The novel spans different time periods to create a full, and lively overall picture exploring the Arabic and Jewish cultures. By the end, all the stories come to one big climax - crossing over uncannily into each other’s narratives - and the ending was splendid and satisfying.

4stars
Image via goodreads.com

This post was written by guest blogger Jemma.
1 comment
The Ables | Jeremy Scott | Rachel

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Ables | Jeremy Scott | Rachel


*Image and review copy c/o Netgalley

Synopsis:

It turns out, superheroes are real. They’re just really good at keeping their society a secret. It’s actually superhero policy to not tell kids born into superhero families about their powers until they begin to manifest around puberty. Our main character, Phillip, finds out he is a telekinetic. He can move any object with his mind. The problem? He’s blind. As a result, he can only move objects he is familiar with. When he starts as his new high school, he is in a class with other disabled superhero kids. Together they learn to use their abilities to their fullest.

Review:
I first found out about this book by watching Jeremy Scott’s channel, CinemaSins. I thought it would be interesting to read a book by a guy who critiques movies for their obvious plot fails and stereotypes. I’ll admit, it did affect my reading for the first several chapters because I couldn’t stop reading it in Scott’s voice. There were even a few sounds “sins” in his book. But after the first few chapters I really got into the reading and I started hearing Phillip’s voice and forgetting about plot stereotypes.

This was a rather intense read. I completed this book significantly faster than I had anticipated. Scott does a wonderful job of keeping his characters relatable and realistic, in spite of having superpowers. We follow a group of 12-13 year-old boys that act like 12-13 year-old boys. They like to eat pizza and play video games. Most importantly, they don’t respond well to being told what to do.

The Ables is a fast-paced, energetic read. It even made me emotional at times. I did see both big-plot-twist-reveals well before they happened, but there was enough else going on that I still enjoyed reading. The characters are well worth investing in. Really the only person you never feel sorry for is the main villain. Everyone else makes you feel how they feel and can really tug at your heartstrings.


I highly recommend this book for just about all readers. There is a lot of fun, action and adventure, but also a lot of heartache and loss. I happily give this book 4.5 out of 5!
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News Round Up #2

Sunday, 17 May 2015

News Round Up #2

Hi everyone! *waves furiously* Joshua here, and as promised, I'm here to bring you the best news from the world of books from the last two weeks! Without further ado, let's get started...

Quite simply, one of the biggest bits of news from the last two weeks is probably the Branford Boase Shortlist, which is dominated with YA titles. The list of contenders who will battle it out to receive the title in Summer 2015 are:
  • Half Bad by Sally Green
  • Trouble by Non Pratt
  • The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss
  • Cowgirl by Gioncarlo Gemin
  • Leopold Blue by Rosie Rowell
  • The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis

The winner will be announced at a special ceremony on the 9th July and the winner gets £1,000 and both the author and editor get a special silver inlaid box. Very glamorous if you ask me!

But the Branford Boase isn't the only shortlist that's been announced! Oh no, the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize shortlist has also been announced! This prize is for the best children's book aimed at young people up to the age of 14 that communicates science. The shortlist for this prize looks like this:

  • Tiny: The Invisible World Of Microbes by Nicola Davies
  • 365 Science Activities written by various authors and published by Usborne!
  • Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka
  • Jake's Bones by Jake McGowan-Lowe
  • Night Sky Watcher by Raman Prinja
  • Utterly Amazing Science by Professor Robert Winston.

The winner for this prize will be chosen by students of over 100 UK schools and will be announced this November!

Let's take a few moments to appreciate Susie Day. I myself have only read 'Tumblings,' her short story published in Love Hurts, but she hit news in the last fortnight for setting up a UKYA shop. The shop is called We Have Crisps, and is selling tote bags, vests and T-shirts featuring names of UKYA authors, and mugs with quotes from YA novels, including those from people like James Dawson. 10% of the profits from the sales will go into a fund paying for UKYA events and similar events.

Speaking to The Bookseller, she said, "My dream is to walk into this year’s YALC and see those t-shirts and tote bags walking around Olympia. And a UKYA logo above a table in every Waterstones, piled with great reads. And that double-decker bus tour. But I’ll settle for the first one for now.”

Will you buy something from the shop? Go have a browse of the products on there today!

Shall we talk John Green? No, sadly he's not releasing a new book just yet (this decade would be nice John!), but publishers Penguin are hoping that teens in the UK and Ireland will help to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust by hosting sleepovers on the 'Night Of Infinities.' Anyone who participates will be sent a pack including a thank you letter from John (probably not handwritten though...*sighs*) and it's hoped that donations will be made to the dedicated JustGiving page. Fancy hosting a Night Of Infinities? Here might be a good place to start!

What amazing books have been released in the last few weeks? Here's just a few!
  • Shingaling: A Wonder Story by RJ Palacio
  • Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler
  • But sadly, not much else!
There's lots of books lined up to be released in the next few weeks, so next time there will be a pretty good list for you, hopefully! But that is all from me for this fortnight! I'll see you again soon!
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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Brittany aka The Book Addicts Guide

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Brittany aka The Book Addicts Guide

Welcome to another instalment of Being A Book Blogger! Today I'm talking to Brittany, the lovely lady behind The Book Addicts Guide. Here's what she had to say about all things book blogging from getting into YA to blogging pals become real life besties...

cropped-header032015_edited-1


BB: Hi Brittany! For any of our readers who haven't yet discovered The Book Addicts Guide could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?

Yes, of course! Well, I am a 20-something now-married lady (just tied the knot in November!) living in the outer suburbs of Chicago. I started blogging back in 2012 when I really got back into reading and sort of kick-started my book addition with a used book store in my neighborhood. Outside of reading and blogging, my husband and I love to travel, camp, homebrew our own beer!

BB: What is your favourite thing about book blogging? And what has been the biggest challenge so far?

My favorite thing has to be the people I've met. I met some of my BEST friends through this community and over our love of books. We started off just commenting on each other's blogs and my two best friends were bridesmaids in my wedding! It's amazing how reading helped us form such strong friendships.

brittany


Hmmmm the biggest challenge, I think, is balance. I have a tendency to take on too many things because it's all so exciting and I love being a part of all of the amazing things this community and my fellow bloggers have to offer! I've been blogging for three years and although I'm STILL figuring things out, I'm really starting to get in the groove of being okay with NOT being a part of everything. It was too stressful to have so many things going on at once and that defeated the purpose of having a hobby!

BB: Like our team you review a lot of YA titles. If you had to create a 'YA Starter Kit' for someone looking to try out the genre which 5 books would you include?

Oooh I love this question! I'd definitely include some different genres. For contemporary I'd have to say If I Stay by Gayle Forman. The movie is out now so it's got even more buzz around it but that was one of MY first contemporary YA books so it really means a lot to me, plus Gayle is one of my favorite authors. For science-fiction, it's The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer all the way! It's one of my favorite series (Cinder is the first book for those who aren't familiar) and it has a little bit of everything. Fantasy fans should start with The Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone is the first book) by Leigh Bardugo (also one of my 1st fantasy series). I'd recommend Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas for mystery fans (it was SO good) and Grave Mercy, the first in the His Fair Assassin trilogy for historical fiction.

Also (shamless plug coming up!), I created a "guide" to crossover books a while back... I shared some of my favorite young adult books I thought would be good for adults trying YA for the first time and also adult books that YA fans could enjoy :D

brittany bookshelf


BB: I loved reading your 'Young Adult Meets Friends' post! Could you tell our readers a little more about it and how you came up with this clever idea?

Oh thank you!!! It actually started with my Young Adult Meets Disney post. I was trying to brainstorm new post ideas and I was spending waaaaay too much time pinning Disney Princess things on my Pinterest boards instead of blogging so I thought, what if I combined the two? I had SO much fun with that post that I wanted to keep doing mash-ups of YA + other favorite fandoms/movies/TV shows and Friends is another HUGE favorite of mine!

BB: Just for fun, if you could live in any fictional world which one would you choose?

HAS to be Hogwarts. I know that's not super unique but come on. It's THE DREAM.

BB: Finally, we would love some recommendations, which book blogs are your favourites to read?

Oh yay! I love recommending! I'm very close with Amy from Tripping Over Books and Alyssa from Books Take You Places so I must plug their blogs! Also love the people and blogs from Estelle + Magan at Rather Be Reading, Andi at Andi's ABCs, and Lauren at Bookmark Lit. Oh, there are just so many wonderful blogs and blogging friends that I want to share that I could literally be here all day so I'll just leave you with the link to my blog roll in case you want more ;)

Brittany's Social Media links: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Brittany for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com for information!

Images c/o Brittany
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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Features | Re-reading.


I have re-read Avalon High by Meg Cabot more times than I can remember. There are other books I've re-read plenty of times too, but Avalon High is definitely the number one most re-read book in my collection.

When I was still in school I used to re-read a lot. Meg Cabot, Jacqueline Wilson, and the Harry Potter books all got a few re-reads over the years. I used to spend my summer holidays sat in the garden day after day re-reading my favourite books from the moment I woke up until the sun went down, only moving back inside to reapply sunscreen or grab another book when I'd finished one. Now that I'm older though, I don't find myself re-reading so much.

It could have something to do with the fact that ever since I got my own bank account I've found it very difficult to stop myself from buying every book I like the look of and now have a TBR list the length of my arm. In fact, let's be honest, it probably has a lot to do with that. When there are 30+ unread books hanging out in my bookcase, it's difficult to convince myself that re-reading old favourites is worth the time that I could otherwise spend on reading those new books I haven't yet experienced.

This kind of thinking is further spurred on, of course, by the fact that there are just so many more books in the world that I do not yet own and I feel as though I can't buy those until I've read the ridiculous amount of books I do own but have yet to read. I'm sure this is a train of thought most readers have experienced at some time or another. Well, I hope it's not just me anyway!

I'm not sure if it's because the sun has finally started to make an appearance after months of awful winter, and this is bringing back memories of those summer days spent re-reading old favourites, but I've started to get an itch to do it again. I do want to read all my unread books but I also desperately want to pull a few old favourites down from the shelf and see what I'll make of them now, if I'll still love them the way I did before or if I'll find something completely new in the story to make the experience totally different.

It may feel a little silly to me to re-read old books instead of reading new ones, but it is also starting to feel a little silly to have all these books I've enjoyed and never read them again. It's all very well having a bookshelf full of books I once loved, but I think they deserve to be loved again!

I'd love to hear what you all think about re-reading in the comments. Is it worth the time to experience a story again? Or do you always prefer to try out something new?
9 comments
Boo | Neil Smith | Review

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Boo | Neil Smith | Review

*review copy c/o Netgalley & Cornerstone, image via Goodreads

Oliver Dalrymple’s arrival into heaven is not quite what he expected. After seemingly passing away from a heart defect, Oliver - better known as Boo when he was alive on Earth - begins his second life in the Town, a purgatory-esque world filled with other 13 year olds who never grew up. Though an odd concept at first, Boo expects to live out the rest of his afterlife in perfect harmony alongside his fellow ‘Townies’ - before re-passing and entering heaven.

But when a former classmate, Johnny Henzel, arrives in Town, Boo soon discovers he may not have died as innocently as he thought. Johnny proclaims he and Boo were both murdered at school and their mysterious shooter (who they nickname Gunboy) has also ended up in heaven. Boo soon finds himself alongside Johnny, tracking down Gunboy. The question is what will happen when they find out the truth behind their deaths?

So what’s my verdict?

From the premise of the story it’d be really easy to assume Boo to fall into the quirky paranormal YA category, but the book is so much more than that. What I expected to be a simple case of a murder mystery - albeit being solved by the deceased - ended up twisting into a wonderfully truly enthralling journey into the afterlife. The book itself addresses many themes such as the idea of purgatory (embodied in the novel as Town), redemption/reconciliation, the concept of fate and God.

The deep subject matter could leave the book feeling incredibly dense - and there is certainly a Lord of the Flies vibe coming off the last few chapters, but it’s the age of the characters that keeps this story on the lighter side and more innocent. Boo is a really sincere narrator and his honest approach to telling his story leaves you often forgetting he is only 13 years old. The same applies to the rest of the characters too but none more so than Johnny Henzel. Whilst Boo could be considered the awkward and clear headed right brain, Johnny is his emotionally charged opposite. The contrast between the two boys is seriously one of the more interesting pieces character development you see in the book. The other characters are also seriously diverse. Though illness stops in the Town we see there is a key secondary character with achondroplasia (dwarfism) and one with a stunted form of vitiligo - both of whom are certainly not defined or constrained by their disabilities.

Not only does Boo tackle some in depth topics concerning death and the afterlife but it’s also offers sensitive look at mental illness and depression - a rare thing seen in books with characters this age. The wounds Boo, Johnny and the other characters in the book may be physical but it’s their emotional journeys that make this novel so worth the read. Ultimately, Boo is a story of the healing power of friendship and time, but mostly the importance of letting go and moving forward.

Reading Soundtrack: 
Metal Heart: Cat Power; King & Lionheart: Of Monsters & Men; Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise: The Mountain Goats; All These Things I've Done: The Killers; Bones: Charlotte Martin; Blackbird: The Beatles; Candles: Daughter

For lovers of...The Lovely Bones, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and What Dreams May Come.
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The Perfectionists | Sara Shepard | Review

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Perfectionists | Sara Shepard | Review

the perfectionists sara shepard The Perfectionists is the first novel in a new series from author Sara Shepard, best known for her Pretty Little Liars series. In this book we meet a group of five girls who, after watching And Then There Were None during a film studies class, jokingly discuss how they would kill fellow student Nolan Hotchkiss. Each of the girls has a history with bully Nolan and a reason to seek revenge, so when he is found dead after a party the girls start to wonder if they are being framed for his murder.

Part of what prompted me to read The Perfectionists was the announcement that it is set to become a TV series. As a fan of the Pretty Little Liars adaptation and a self-confessed US TV addict, I was instantly intrigued and decided it was about time I picked up the book!

The concept and characters reflect those of Shepard’s other novels featuring young adults caught up in a mystery and a whole lot of drama. Personally I found the format to be very similar to Pretty Little Liars, with alternating chapters from the different girl’s POVs allowing the reader to get to know them each a little better throughout the novel. In this case the girls aren’t a tight-knit group before teaming up for the film studies project so we are also introduced to a whole host of characters outside of their time spent together. Each girl’s background is very different so as the book goes on we find out more about them as individuals and follow all of their personal drama outside of what happened to Nolan.

The element of mystery is also a recurring theme within Shepard’s novels and is definitely present here. Unravelling the girl’s individual stories and finding out not only how they knew Nolan in the past but also how they each played a part in a revenge prank on the night of his death was what kept me intrigued until the last page.

The next book in the series, titled The Good Girls, is due for release later this year, and I’ll definitely be picking it up to find out where the story is headed next for the girls. I also have high hopes for the adaptation and am really looking forward to seeing this mysterious and dark story come to life on the small screen. Based on Shepard’s other series I’m expecting lots of twists and turns ahead!
2 comments
Guest Post | Emoji Tag (Harry Potter Universe)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Guest Post | Emoji Tag (Harry Potter Universe)

There's a lot of posts and videos going around the book community, doing the Emjoi tag. Well, I thought I'd do one for some Harry Potter characters.

First of all, we have Harry, who is angry for approximately 75-83% of the series, so this angry face emoji fits him just perfectly.

harry


Next up is Hermione, aka one of the most badass book heroines to ever happen. We all especially loved her when she whacked Draco Malfoy in the face after he insulted Hagrid, so that's why she gets awarded the punchy emoji.

hermione


The final third of the Golden Trio is Ronald Bilius Weasley. I puzzled for a while over what emoji would suit him, until it came to me. The dog emoji goes to Ron, due to his Patronus being a Jack Russell terrier (this looks sort of like a terrier, right?)

ron


The emoji goes to- "Wait until my father hears about this!" Yeah, yeah Malfoy, shut up. The next emoji is Malfoy, and it's moneybags because the Malfoys are obviously loaded like a baked potato.

draco


This next one was a toss-up between Nearly-Headless-Nick - or as he prefers to be called, Sir Nicholas De Mimsy-Porpington - or Moaning Myrtle. However, the ghost emoji is too happy to be Myrtle, so Nick won on this one.

nearly headless nick


I wanted to do one last one, and as soon as I saw this emoji, it immediately called to me as one particular character.

"Where's my Won-Won?!"

lavender


This post was written by guest blogger Rebecca who blogs over at Shihtzu Book Reviews!
1 comment

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Bookish Links #4


It's Bookish Links time again! Welcome to another roundup of the blog posts and articles we've been loving lately. Grab yourself a cup of tea and click away!

1/ Guilt-Free Book Buying - if you're looking for the perfect excuse to buy yourself all the books on your wish list Trish has you covered!

2/ How Endings Can Change Everything... - this interesting article from Jeann discusses how the ending of a standalone or last book in a series can change our views on the whole story.

3/ Handy Tips For Reviewers! - Lucy talks us through how to organise all the books on our review lists in just three simple steps with this helpful blog post.

4/ One For The Creatives... - we really loved reading Amber's creative book recommendations, all perfect as gifts or for treating yourself to something a little different next time you're at the bookshop!

5/ A New Release Roundup! - if you're looking for your summer reads then look no further! Book Riot shared this awesome roundup featuring over 145 upcoming YA releases. Which ones are on your wish list?

6/ Why We Should All Read More Graphic Novels - not sure where to start with graphic novels? Sophie's post is all about how she got into the genre and shares some great ideas to inspire you.

Don't forget to leave us your favourite bookish links in the comments! 
2 comments

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Wicked Will Rise | Danielle Paige | Reviewed by Anjali


“She had been both good and wicked and everything in between. She had been both at once, too, until it was hard for her to even tell the difference any more.”

You may recall my review of the first book in this series, Dorothy Must Die. You can check out that review to get a bit of an overview of the story, but in short, Amy Gumm is the other girl from Kansas. She is swept away to Oz in a tornado, and she has a mission: "Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. Then and only then—Dorothy must die." (taken from GoodReads) At the end of the story (no spoilers really, don't worry), Dorothy is still alive, and the story continues in The Wicked Will Rise. 

Amy Gumm is still in Oz, still having her mission to complete. Not all went as planned for Amy, and now she must figure out not only who she is in Oz, but find her friend on a lost island, understand the ways of the wingless monkeys, try and figure out if the Princess Ozma is actually stark-raving-mad or speaking profound truth. As she continues to battle against the forces of Good (which are actually evil), and work with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked (who are mostly good), to restore Oz to how it should really be, Amy must also come to discover the person that Oz is turning her into, who it is making her to be...and if she really wants to be that person.

With action and mystery, magic and all the things we love about Oz, The Wicked Will Rise is a great sequel to Dorothy Must Die. Like the first book, the characters are brilliant and so creative.The new characters that are introduced in this book have their own flare and personalities that make you want to smile, and sometimes cringe. In The Wicked Will Rise, we're introduced, too, to more of Oz and the magical lands that it has. I really love the imagination of Paige and the world that she has re-imagined from the story we all know and love. What did disappoint me a little was the length. At less than 300 pages, it was a decent amount shorter than it's predecessor (by over 100 pages), and while I love a short book, I feel like another element could have been thrown in to make it even a tad longer. However, I really did enjoy it and I'm looking forward to the next book, which I believe doesn't come out until next year, possibly even 2017.


Image from Good Reads.
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Features | Paper books vs Kindles

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Features | Paper books vs Kindles

Before I start, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Katie, and I am the new features writer for Bloggers Bookshelf. From now on I will be posting a book related feature every other Thursday, so I hope you enjoy reading them!

For ages I was convinced I would never be convert to ebooks. Although friends gushed about how much they loved their e readers, I was sure it could never replace the feeling of reading a real book. That was up until I received a e reader for my birthday. I’m now fully converted. Truth be told, I can’t even remember the last time that I read a paper book. Since I know a lot of people are still not convinced that e readers are the way forward, I thought about the reasons that I love mine.

1) More comfortable to read

We are all familiar with the feeling of trying to get comfortable lying down in bed with a book. If it’s a heavy hard back, you pretty much have to accept that its just not going to happen without your arms aching or the book falling on your face. E readers are a lot lighter and smaller than a paper book, so it’s much easier to hold. It can also be read one handed which is useful if you’re trying to eat and read at the same time (please tell me I’m not the only one that does this). You can also adjust the font size to suit your eyesight.

2) Easier to buy books

The frustration that ensues when you realise you’ve finished a book, have nothing to read and you’re miles away from the nearest book doesn’t exist anymore. Wherever you have internet connection, you can buy books. The only downside of this is it’s probably not great for your bank balance.

3) More convenient for travelling

You no longer have to take an entire suitcase of books with you on holiday – one small device can hold an entire library. It’s also much lighter for carrying around with you during the day.

4) No losing your place

I’m the kind of person that can never find a bookmark, so I usually resort to folding the corners of books (I’m sorry booklovers, please don’t hate me). With a Kindle, it automatically saves your place, so you can easily resume where you left off.

5) Cost of books

Books tend to be much cheaper as ebooks than as paper books. This may however be offset by the fact that you have to purchase the e reader in the first place. They are not expensive as some electronic gadgets (I think my Kindle was around £50) but they are still fairly pricey.


I do see that there are some disadvantages to e readers. You don’t get to support local bookshops, they don’t smell as nice and you can’t read them in the bath. (Well I still do but it’s not advisable). You also have the issue of charging them, although I wouldn’t let this be a deciding factor as you can easily get through 2 books without having to charge it. At the end of the day, some people get on with them and some people don’t. Just keep an open mind – you might be surprised by how much you like them.
Katie x 
2 comments

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Boy Meets Boy | David Levithan | Reviewed by Christina



Boy Meets Boy is about Paul, an average high school student who has boy problems, friend problems - every usual kind of teenage problem apart from his sexuality. That was never in question since Paul is openly gay and everyone around him is okay with that. The book also follows several other characters, within the same friendship group, who each have their own story lines and problems.

Boy Meets Boy simultaneously entertained and disappointed me. I liked Paul - the main character. I liked how most of the characters were so openly LGBTQ* and it wasn't something that needed explaining or justifying, as some books do. Most of the story involved a love triangle of sorts and I didn't enjoy that. I could see the main drama coming and when it happened, I had no sympathy for the main character and found myself disconnecting from him. Another aspect I had a big from with was that I felt as though there were so many characters with their own issues, it was hard to connect to any of them. The book would have been much better if it had focused on fleshing out one or two of the characters, rather than kind of half creating so many and not giving them much depth.

I did enjoy reading the book and the romance aspects were swoon-worthy, but the characters were underdeveloped and the story line was kind of basic. The book was quite short and it is a good addition to LGBTQ* literature, but I wouldn't re-read this book.
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Headstrong | Rachel Swaby | Reviewed by Rachel

Monday, 4 May 2015

Headstrong | Rachel Swaby | Reviewed by Rachel

*Image and review copy c/o Blogging for Books

Summary:
Swaby has collected information on, and written mini-biographies for, 52 women whose contributions to math and science helped us all to better understand the world we live in.

Review:
This book covers the lifespans of women ranging from 1647 (Maria Sibylla Merian) to 2014 (Stephanie Kwolek). It is almost impossible to read this book without learning, not just about each woman, but also about the science she worked on and at least some the history of her time-period. This book is highly informative and well researched, as any book on scientists should be. However, Swaby is also able to bring in an emotional aspect that does not distract from the science of the contributions. Most of the emotions involved are anger at the unfairness of women not being paid for their work or not being given actual lab space despite their well demonstrated abilities. I also appreciate Swaby including other emotions, like love, “When [Gerty] could no longer make the trek from one room in the lab to the other, [her husband] scooped her up and carried her, working together until the end.” (Pg. 18) But the biggest feeling you get from this book is the dedication these women have to science. Be it because they love science itself or they love the mental stimulation, it is impossible not to pick up on this.

I was personally amazed at just how many women were involved in science that I’ve never heard about, especially given their major contributions. Alice Ball found a way for oil based, injectable medicines to be easily absorbed by the body. Hedy Lamarr gave us the foundation for Wi-Fi. How did I not know about these women before? I also appreciated that Swaby did not include a mini-biography about Marie Curie “[b]ecause Marie Curie is who we talk about when we talk about women in science…” (Pg. xiii) We all know her. This book was created for the lesser known, yet incredibly influential, women scientists.

Not only is Headstrong well researched, it’s well written. Swaby is unable to give any one scientist more than 6 pages due to the sheer number of people. Yet I found this to be a perfect way to read this book. I am introduced to each scientist, their work, and their life in a very succinct yet still meaningful manner. Because of this, the reader never feels bored or bogged down by facts.


I happily recommend this book to anyone with even an inkling of interest in science, history of science, or women’s studies.  You will have a good time reading this book.
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Sunday, 3 May 2015

The News Round-Up #1

Hi there! Joshua here, and I'm excited to be starting this brand new scheme here with Blogger's Bookshelf! Because, every two weeks, I get to bring you the biggest news from the world of books and you get to read it here! I'm hoping I do a good job of it as well, but without further ado, let's get started!

This year, you may have heard that YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention, returns for 2015, and the full author line up has been announced! I myself happen to be heading to YALC on the Saturday this year, and this year's line up consists of people like Carrie Hope Fletcher, Annabel Pitcher, Derek Landy, Cassandra Clare, Holly Bourne, Patrick Ness and so many other incredible authors! I for one am incredibly excited for YALC this year and tickets are still available! You can read about the line up here and book your tickets here!

YALC not your thing? Well, do you know about Non Pratt? YA Book Prize nominated author Non Pratt is due to have her second book released next year by Walker, but the news came just this week that she's been signed to release two more books with Walker! I loved Trouble, which if you're not familiar with it, is a book about a teenage pregnancy but dealt with in the most sensitive way I've ever seen it treated, and I certainly am excited to read Non Pratt's next books as well! You can read more about the announcement at The Bookseller here!

Still not got some news you like the look of yet? Well, how about the 10th (yes, the tenth!) Diary Of A Wimpy Kid novel's cover being released? Being released in the UK on the 3rd November, the cover for Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Old School was released in a live webcast from New York on the 27th April, and for the fastest seller of 2014, you can only imagine the sort of success Old School will get!
Cover sourced from Goodreads
Now, let's talk Zoella. Do you remember Girl Online, the phenomenal debut from Zoe Sugg that sold the most copies in it's first week of any debut novel, and then we found out it was actually co-authored between her and Siobhan Curham? And we all got super angry about it because we were basically lied to? Well, a while ago, Amazon listed Girl Online 2, without any cover or official title, but still up for pre-order? Zoella released a vlog not long ago, and revealed that this time, she'd be going it alone: just her and Amy Alward (who, by the way, actually has her own book coming out this spring, called The Potion Diaries). Want to know more about this really quite exciting announcement? Here's Zoella's vlog, where she explains a bit more about it:

So what amazing books have been released in the last few weeks? Here are some of my favourites, and I've left you a link to a place where you can buy it (probably Waterstone's) and a place where you can read (or watch!) someone else's thoughts on them!
That's it from me! I'm back in two weeks time to cover some more news from the world of books right here! Got any suggestions? What else would you like to see in the news round up? Email bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com and let us know!

See you in a fortnight!
Joshua
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Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Jenny aka Jenny In Neverland

Friday, 1 May 2015

Being A Book Blogger | Interview With Jenny aka Jenny In Neverland

It's interview time again! This week we're talking to Jenny the girl behind the brilliant blog Jenny In Neverland. Here's what she had to say about growing up as a bookworm, the tough side of review writing & switching lives with a John Green character...

interview jenny in neverland

BB: Hi Jenny! For those who haven't heard of Jenny In Neverland could you tell us a little bit more about you and your blog?

Hello! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! Well, I'm Jenny, in case you hadn't worked that one out! I'm a 22 year-old blogger, Disney fanatic, obsessive cleaner, book lover and excessive takeaway eater from London. I love reading, obviously. It's always been my most passionate hobby. Jenny in Neverland was born around March 2013 and is where I post book reviews, film reviews, lifestyle posts (such as travel, food and days out) plus miscellaneous posts like discussions about blog/book related topics. I thrive from reading and my blog and I absolute adore every aspect of blogging!

BB: Where does your love of books come from and how did you get into reviewing?

My love of books come solidly from my mum; she is just as big of a bookworm as I am and ever since I can remember, she was reading me books, surrounding me with books and encouraging me to read. I remember when I was a kid, she would read me the Harry Potter and Narnia books in bed at night. She would also take me to the library regularly and sign me up for the summer library reading challenges, which I loved! I loved seeing my name on the wall of the library under the amount of books I'd read!

I got into reviewing simply from finding another bloggers blog. I was Googling reviews for the book I was reading at the time and found this review on this blog; I started looking around and realised that this person was a book blogger and I couldn't believe it, book blogging was a THING? So I emailed the blogger and she very kindly helped me set up my own blog and it went from there! I started just by reviewing books I had read and books on my shelf and wasn't overly dedicated to it, but over the two years, I've met so many other book bloggers – a whole community of them – and my blog and my posts grew from there!

interview jenny in neverland

BB: Which of your reviews are you most proud of? Which was the hardest to write?

Oh heavens, I think all reviews are quite hard to write. It's difficult to do justice to a book that is literally too good to put into words and it's also quite hard to successfully explain why you disliked certain elements of a book without coming across as rude or insensitive!

A book review I wrote this year for The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman I'm proud of because I managed to get across just how that book made me feel. The author also contacted me on Twitter the day I posted it and said it made her well-up which is a great feeling to know your review has had that impact on an author (you can find that review here: https://jennyinneverland.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/2015-reading-challenge-a-book-that-made-me-cry/)

The Boat by Clara Salaman is another of my favourite reviews too (you can find that review here: https://jennyinneverland.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/the-boat-clara-salaman/)

The hardest review I had to write was for The Book Thief because it's my all-time favourite book and I literally didn't know what to say to do it justice. It ended up being probably my longest review because I didn't want to miss anything out and no matter what I wrote I would just think, “Ugh, this book is better than that”. I finally managed to get my thoughts down about it but even now, I wouldn't know what to say that accurately describes how I feel about that book! (You can find my review of The Book Thief here: https://jennyinneverland.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/book-review-the-book-thief-by-markus-zusak/)

BB: You also post movie reviews on your blog. If you could choose one book that hasn’t yet been adapted to be turned into a movie which one would it be?

Ooh this is a great question! There are so many books that would make great movies! I would have originally chosen my two favourite John Green books for this question; Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns but obviously both of these are being made into movies now! (Which I am sooo excited about!)

I think The List by Joanna Bolouri would make an incredibly funny film! This book is such a success and the main character, Phoebe, would be amazing on screen. I also recently read The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths which would adapt fantastically to the big screen!

Sorry – was only meant to chose one!

BB: We're always looking for recommendations. What have been your top reads of 2015 so far?

2015 has been such an incredible book year so far; we're only in March and I've already read some amazing books! Previously mentioned above, The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths has been my favourite read so far. Magic and crime; the perfect combination! The Ice Twins by S.K Tremayne (which you've probably heard of!) was also a incredibly chilling read! The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman, although released last year and I've only just got around to reading it, I would also highly recommend and it'd be up there in my top reads of 2015. Also, 1 more, By My Side by Alice Peterson. Beautiful novel!

interview jenny in neverland

BB: Just for fun, if you could swap lives for the day with any fictional character who would it be and why?

Nooo! This is too hard there are so many characters! Margo from Paper Towns would be incredibly intriguing. I loved her character and the mystery about her and I loved how despite the fact she wasn't even present for over half the book, the story still revolved around her.

BB: Finally, we would love some recommendations, which book blogs are your favourites to read?

Oh there are just so many incredible book bloggers out there! Here's a few;
Becca's Books - http://beccasbooooks.blogspot.co.uk/
Sky's Book Corner - http://skysbookcorner.blogspot.ch/
A Book And Tea - https://abookandtea.wordpress.com/
Laura's Little Book Blog - http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Books, Biscuits, And Tea - http://www.booksbiscuitsandtea.co.uk/
Bookboddle - http://bookboodle.co.uk/

Where To Find Jenny Online: Blog | Twitter | Facebook


I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Jenny for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com for information!

Images c/o Jenny
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